Law Reform: Achievement Of Justice In The Criminal Investigation Process
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Law reform has had a major impact on the achievement of justice in the criminal investigation process. With the introduction of new laws and amendments of previous ones, the law has attempted to achieve justice for victims, offenders and society in the criminal investigation process. This is particularly evident through the areas of police power, bail and the right to silence.
It is the role of police to investigate crimes, make arrests, interrogate suspects and gather evidence against the accused in order to enforce criminal law. Their powers to do so were originally contained in various acts, making police powers convoluted and complex. The Wood Royal Commission recommended that police powers be set out in one law, rather than a multitude.…show more content… This has achieved justice in the criminal investigation process by providing access to rights under law and outlining the responsibilities of police. However, additional laws have been introduced to extend these police powers to combat specific threats. In response to society’s attitude towards the growing numbers of organised crime, the Crimes Amendment (Consorting and Organised Crime) Act 2012 (NSW) gives police the power to charge people with communicating four or more times with a convicted criminal. This, although achieving justice by responding to society’s needs, gives police arbitrary power over society, and thus hinders justice in the criminal investigation process. This is highlighted in R V Foster (2012) where Foster was unjustly convicted with consorting with criminals who were long-time friends, despite not holding any links to organised crime. This evidently illustrates how additional powers on top of the Law Enforcement (Powers and Responsibilities) Act 2002 reduce the attainment of justice as the rights of individuals are not balanced with police powers, and the rule of law is undermined. Additionally, the article, ‘Give…show more content… The Bail Act 1978 originally established that bail was strictly decided based on whether a particular offence held a presumption against or in favour of bail. However, in response to the 80 acts amending it and a 69% rise in numbers of people held on remand between 2000 and 2010 (BOCSAR), the Bail Act 2013 was introduced to make bail easier to comprehend. This act had the effect of issuing bail based on whether the offender has an ‘acceptable risk’ of harming society, re-offending or not turning up to court. This act was praised as it was easy to navigate and transparent, thus improving access to the law. This helped achieve justice in the criminal investigation process. However, this law has the potential to compromise society’s right to safety as it makes it easier for suspects who have committed serious offences to be let free on bail. This is evident in R v Hawi , where Mahmoud Hawi, a bikie gang leader ‘posed an unacceptable risk, but was released on the basis that the bail conditions imposed were a "mitigating factor"’ (Mahmoud Hawi granted bail on airport murder charge under new NSW laws SMH 2014) Thus, through bail laws being subjective and unfair, this law can potentially impede on the attainment of justice in the criminal investigation process. In response, this act was amended in the Bail Amendment Act 2014 [NSW]. This introduced an extra